So many bad things have happened to the
They learned that reserve guard
A day after receiving this latest bad news, the franchise did what has come naturally in recent years. The Clippers pushed on amid the hardship, a 100-93 victory over the
"We told them [Saturday], whatever happens, we come to win, that's the only thing we have to think about," Coach
Paul also threw a lob to
Jamal Crawford scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, leading another strong effort by the Clippers' bench.
The Clippers reserves outscored their Heat counterparts, 46-25, keeping things close in the first half after the Clippers starters combined to miss 14 of their first 15 shots.
"That's the worst I've seen us shoot," said Jordan, who had 11 rebounds, nine points and three blocks.
The one constant for the Clippers was their defense, a swarming, discombobulating force that left the Heat unable to articulate what was happening.
"I didn't know what they were doing," said Miami forward
The Heat threatened the Clippers' plan to quickly depart the arena and board their charter flight to watch the Super Bowl on satellite television by intentionally fouling Jordan late in the third quarter. Jordan made two of six free throws before Doc Rivers yanked him in favor of Aldrich, allowing basketball to resume.
Not even Miami's players approved of a tactic that shaved only one point off their deficit.
"If you are worrying about DeAndre Jordan missing free throws for you to win a ballgame," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said, "then you have already been beat."
The Clippers found out Saturday they would be without Austin Rivers for four to six weeks after an MRI exam revealed a broken left hand suffered Wednesday against the
"We're really going to miss him," Paul said. "He's been unbelievable on the defensive end, on the offensive end with the pace. For us, once again, unfortunately, we're sort of used to this now. Guys going down, and we realize we've just got to pick it up."
The Clippers (34-17) just keep winning no matter who's on the court. They have prevailed in 11 of their last 13 road games and are an unfathomable 17-4 without Griffin, who was sidelined by a quadriceps injury the day after Christmas and then punched a team assistant equipment manager late last month in Toronto.
That was the latest misfortune to rock a franchise that since April 2014 has dealt with derogatory racial comments by then-owner
There's ample evidence to suggest the Clippers won't buckle under these circumstances.